I've known for years that I was called to be a missionary.
I fought against my call for a long time. When I couldn't stand because my body was being ravaged by dysentery, thousands of miles away from my loving family when I was an exchange student in Russia, I calmly, politely, and firmly told God to remove my name from the list of future missionaries.
I've come up with dozens of lists explaining why I'm not "missionary material."
I don't end every sentence with, "praise the Lord!"
I'm painfully bad at foreign language.
I don't look good in any hat, let alone a pith helmet.
I'm obedient primarily when it's convenient.
I don't pray long wingbag prayers.
I like talking to drunk athiests more than sober Christians.
I'm not comfortable "converting people" from a religion that gives them joy and inner peace.
My theology wavers back and forth depending on the week.
I sin every day and I have since I became a Christian.
Usually the lists are much longer, more detailed, and more painful.
God continues the call. Every fact I throw at God gets a quick response ... "So?"
God calls us to mission as a body, as a people, as God's people. We are called to go to the ends of the earth. I wonder some days, how close I've come to "the ends of the earth." How much further do I have to go before I find the end!?!?
Some days I'm glad to be called to missionary service. Some days I'm terrified. Most days I can rejoice in the call.
You call all of us in separate directions. You place a vision in our hearts and throw the wind behind us. You don't guarantee "success" (whatever that means), a safe voyage, or a long, healthy life. You promise your faithfullness, and I pray that we may each feel that promise in our lives this day.